Afghan women have been demanding to be included in peace negotiations with the U.S. since they began. We should have listened to them.
“No one has suffered more at the hands of the Taliban than the women of Afghanistan,” Melanne Verveer—executive director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and a former U.S. ambassador for Global Women’s Issues—explains in a new op-ed in USA Today.
Despite signing the bipartisan Women, Peace, and Security Act to “increase women’s participation in negotiation and mediation processes”—by the looks of Trump’s Monday meeting with leaders from Pakistan, it seems he has completely ignored an act he himself signed into law.
“People say the U.S. Congress is dysfunctional,” Eleanor Smeal, Feminist Majority Foundation president and publisher of Ms., points out, “but not for a moment would we think of turning over the country to terrorists—and neither would the Afghans.”
In spite of the Taliban, Afghanistan is a picture of progress—though not perfection.
“Inclusivity means real representation: not just elites getting a seat at the table. Being at the table is a means, not the end.”
In January 2018, a BBC article declared that the Taliban had full control of 4 percent of Afghanistan’s territory and an active presence in another 66 percent of the country. Researchers at Feminist Majority Foundation, dubious of the BBC map and other similar public accounts based on territorial analysis, decided to do a study using population data.
As the Trump administration tries to negotiate peace with the men of the Taliban, Afghanistan’s women are drawing their red line.
Feminist advocates last week met with leading lawmakers on Capitol Hill to amplify calls for an equitable peace process in Afghanistan being made by women on the ground.
Afghan women have spoken out to demand their inclusion in the peace process unfolding between the Trump administration and the Taliban—and so have women across the globe who stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them. Actor, activist and UN special envoy Angelina Jolie has now joined that chorus of voices.